Johor Marine Biodiversity Database (JMarine)

Malaysia has been heralded as one of the mega-biodiversity countries and yet there is a widening chasm between the generation of biodiversity data and its accessibility. In contrast to the wealth of biodiversity data in Malaysia, there is a dearth of catalogues and databases that house biodiversity information in a manner that is accessible across the web befitting the current global web trends of data sharing. Biodiversity data in Malaysia are either based on legacy field work, shrouded within specialist conferences or continually being lost along the retirement of prominent researchers. This absence is reflected by the significant absence of Malaysia sourced biodiversity data on world’s catalogue such as GBIF or EOL. Here we present the Johor Marine Biodiversity Database (JMarine) that has been designed as a biodiversity knowledge portal that is developed to manage ecological information for marine biodiversity in the state of Johor. JMarine can store various types of data associated with marine biodiversity and conservation. We examined various biodiversity databases and created a unified data model that is designed to include all the relevant information in marine biodiversity. JMarine system was developed using Drupal, PHP and MySQL with a backend management system that enables web curation, simplifying the process for researchers without computing background. The biodiversity data can be shared publicly online with data features such as species, spatial location, description, taxonomy, bathymetry and online mapping. The database is geared towards the current trend of social media where users can tweet and share the information through various social media platforms. We believe that the creation of this database will be in place to store, highlight and share valuable marine biodiversity information for the state of Johor and create impetus for similar sites to be created for other biodiversity databases in Malaysia. The database is available for beta testing at
Johor Marine Biodiversity Database or its mirror, both hosted in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).